Monday, March 01, 2010

Mohammed and the Unbelievers

I just finished reading, Mohammed and the Unbelievers; A Political Life by the Center for the Study of Political Islam. This short book (167 pages) provides a fascinating and readable story of Muhammad’s life. It summarizes the earliest biography of Muhammad by Ibn Ishaq and weaves into the biography parts of the Muhammad’s teachings from the Koran, traditions about Muhammad from Hadith (by both Bukari and Muslim) and history of Islam by al Tabari.

The advantage of this book over some modern biographies of Muhammad is that this book has not been filtered through the lenses of Muslim apologetics or modern Western political correctness. The story comes directly from Islam’s earliest and most sacred sources. Almost every paragraph in the book has been documented from those sources.

The picture that emerges is that Muhammad was a man who was kind, hospitable, generous, loving, patient and forgiving—toward Muslims who submitted completely and unquestioningly to his rule.

Toward “Kafirs” (unbelievers), on the other hand, he was mercilessly vicious and cruel. He would threaten, intimidate, deceive, rob, rape, enslave, torture, execute and slaughter Kafirs by the hundreds! On one occasion, he sat all day long watching literally hundreds of Jews who had surrendered to him being beheaded at his command. Then he ordered their wives and children into slavery.

Muhammad ordered the executions of people for no other reason than the fact that those people had criticized Muhammad or had changed their minds and turned away from his religion. He “captured slaves, sold slaves, bought slaves, freed slaves, tortured slaves, had sex with slaves, gave slaves as gifts of pleasure, received slaves as gifts, and sued slaves for work” (164).

He allowed the black slave of his wife Aisha to be tortured in order to determine whether Aisha was faithful to him or not—and only after the torture revealed that Aisha was faithful did Muhammad receive a revelation exonerating her of any wrongdoing.

These stories do not come from Islamo-phobic right wing “crusaders” but from Islam’s earliest and most sacred sources. These are the stories and teachings that Muhammad encouraged his followers to emulate—and which faithful Muslims in power have emulated for over a thousand years.

The book is absolutely outstanding and should be near the top of the reading list for every adult in America—especially for those in government.

No comments: